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Orem resident hopes to halt high-rise building construction with petition

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OREM, Utah -- Residents in Orem are petitioning to make sure a lot on the corner of North 1200 West and West 1200 North doesn't get turned into a 140-foot tall building.

"One hundred forty feet will definitely be a disaster for north Orem," said resident Brian Kelly, who organized the petition.

He lives blocks away from the proposed construction. He thinks it'll negatively impact nearby residents and congest traffic on North 1200 West.

"Height and the traffic are an issue," he said.

The building, which will house Orem-based tech company Jive, would stand along Interstate 15.

Right now, a vacant building sits on the dilapidated lot.

The Orem City Council approved re-zoning the land in September to allow for the 140-foot tall structure.

Current zoning regulations only allow for 60-foot tall buildings.

"There's where they sign it, right here," Kelly said, pointing to his petition.

If he gathers the required 6,400 signatures, the matter would show up on the ballot in two years- bringing the issue to voters.

"Signing the petition ultimately kills the project," said Steven Downs, Assistant to the Orem City Manager.

Downs said if the petition goes through, it halts the chance for growth and development in Orem.

Other companies have moved away before, he said.

"Adobe and AtTask, which is now Workfront- Xactware, have all left," Downs said.

City officials want Jive to stay- and in the proposed new building.

"It's an area, part of town that is very visible from freeway," Downs said. "It speaks a lot to what Orem is, because as you pass through Orem, this is what you see."

The company agrees that their building will rejuvenate, not hinder, the area.

"The building that we're going to be putting there is a gorgeous building." said Jive CEO John Pope. "It's going to be great for the area."

He said they're lowering the building height, as requested by the city when they passed the zoning change. Originally, plans called for the structure to rise up to 180 feet.

Downs said it's a great compromise and strikes the balance of being sensitive to residents, while still allowing for development.

Kelly doesn't think so.

"There are people that want to see it built but somewhere else," he said.

Kelly plans to hold a petition drive to gather signatures on Tuesday at the Bonneville Elementary School, 1245 N. 800 West, from 6 to 8 pm.

He has until late October to collect enough for the ballot.

Pope said as of now, they plan to break ground on the new building in early 2016, with construction lasting nine to 12 months.


  • Mimi

    What an eye sore that would be. Orem is not a city like SLC or Provo. It would look ugly and stick out like a sore thumb. Too bad I don’t live there. I would sign this in a heartbeat.

    • Sarah

      The eye sore is the overgrown mess and falling apart warehouse that exists on the lot now. Having a company come in and not only build a beautiful building but also landscape the nearly 2.5 acre property would look great for Orem and its residents.

  • rodan32

    How do you think street repairs and infrastructure upgrades will get paid for in this town? Is the sewer on your street more than 40 years old? How much will it be to replace it? (Answer – probably around $30k per home). If we drive away industry from Orem, we decrease our tax base. In addition, taller, denser buildings are actually less of a strain on our infrastructure. People in Orem need to stop being idiotic and recognize that growth is coming, and denser and higher are the most practical ways to grow.

  • Bradford

    how can i sign this. Someone please let me know. I grew up in that neighborhood and orem is trying to pack it as full of apartments and crappy building projects as possible. I know several other people who would also be more than happy to sign this as well

    • shelly Millgate

      Do not sign it. Orem is land locked, if we want to have anymore residents/businesses here than we have to go up! fact and even of story. and Orem cannot stay what it was when you grew up. Sad to say. I’m only 36 and the house I grew up in is already gone……Maverick there now… happens and businesses move in and it helps our economy. breathe slowly and close your eyes if you don’t like it

  • Red Sign Team

    I am a busy owner looking to build a $3 million building near this development. My current contract is contingent upon Jive moving forward. This building is a catalyst for my company following suite and I’m sure others. The taxes and economic growth from Jive and my company will do more for this surrounding neighborhood than the current ghetto abandon buildings and lots that continue to house “rift raft”. Look at what the development around Winco has done for this area! Look at what Security metrics and the development off 1600 north has done! Before you sign the petition, come to the city counsel meetings and look at this Jive building. Soon, you’ll see my building plans there and you’ll see we can do this in a classy way and Orem will truly benefit from this economic growth. These will not be crappy buildings, but state of the art, beautiful building as you’ve seen in other parts of the county off I-15.

    • Judy

      Real Estate agent. Jive already is here in a multi storied building. The building they want to occupy they will not fill. This is real estate developers getting mad because citizens want controlled and planned growth – not growth dictated by Real Estate agencies.

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